ProHelvetia Cairo - the local liason office of the Swiss Arts Council in Egypt - have been quietly injecting the city with doses of culture, from art exhibitions and workshops to today's big event: the opening night of their Covering One's Back photography exhibition at the gorgeous Gezira Art Centre in Zamalek. Curated by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis, the 16-day photography extravaganza explores themes of extremes, pitting the dramatic and the mundane against each other to try and figure out whether we prefer the beauty or, indeed, the beast when it comes to photographic evidence of the lives we lead. With work from Atfal Ahdath, Yasser Alwan, George Awde, Goran Galic, Gian-Reto Gredig, Raphael Hefti, Hassan Khan, Taiyo Onorato, Nico Krebs and Heini Stucki, visitors are in for a multi-culture rollercoaster ride of striking images.

But that's not all. Throughout the exhibition, budding photographers are encouraged to submit their portfolios for a pro bono review by some of the finest artists both Egypt and Switzerland has to offer. They'll be offering constructive criticism in one-on-one portfolio review sessions on Saturday 11th May and Saturday 18th May. These sessions are by appointment only, so if you're looking (and brave enough) for a pair of professional eyes to peruse your pieces of art, you have until the 10th of May to submit your application form which you can download here.   

If that wasn't enough to get you photography fingers flexing, Covering One's Back also includes artist talks and presentations by the photographers and collectives taking part in the exhibition, as well as a special a special presentation of 16th Biel-Bienne Festival of Photography by renowned artist Helene Joye-Cagnard. There you have it - a photographer's dream exhibition come true, right here in Cairo!

For more information on ProHelvetia Cairo, check out their Facebook page here and follow @ProHelvetiaCai on Twitter.